Darrel Williams figures to be the No. 2 running back for the Chiefs behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire. It's a role that he was in for much of last season, though it rarely meant getting even eight touches per game. That changed in the playoffs when he helped shoulder more of the workload with Edwards-Helaire coming back from an ugly injury. It remains to be seen if the Chiefs will keep utilizing Williams, but Pro Football Focus rated him among the least elusive and least effective yards-after-contact backs in 2020. There's not much appeal, which is why Williams is no better than a late-round flier, perhaps as a cheap handcuff for those who take Edwards-Helaire in Round 2 or 3.
Williams signed a one-year contract Tuesday worth up to $2.13 million to remain with the Chiefs, Sam McDowell and Herbie Teope of the Belleville News-Democrat report. The contract includes $930,000 in guaranteed money. Williams took on a larger role in the playoffs last season with injuries bothering Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but Edwards-Helaire and Damien Williams -- who's also expected to return after sitting out last season -- are both safe bets to open above Darrel on the depth chart.
Williams compiled two rushes for five yards and a pair of receptions on seven targets for 10 yards in Super Bowl LV versus the Buccaneers. It was a rough night all around for the Chiefs' passing attack, and Williams was no exception to the rule. On a positive note, he turned in a season-high target count in the biggest game of the year, though a lot of the designed screens were read well by the Tampa Bay defense and resulted in grounded balls. The 25-year-old back enters the offseason as a restricted free agent, so the Chiefs will have the final say on whether or not he's in a Kansas City uniform next season.
Williams ran the ball 13 times for 52 yards and a touchdown while securing his only target for nine yards during Sunday's 38-24 win against Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle/hip) was healthy enough to suit up for his first game appearance since Week 15, and he remained active throughout Sunday's playoff tilt. Williams paced the backfield in carries and rushing yards for a second straight outing, however, helping provide Kansas City back-to-back Super Bowl berths by way of his second-quarter TD run. Williams and the Chiefs' running back committee will have to contend with Tampa Bay's top-ranked rush defense, which held opponents to 82.2 yards per game during the regular season while containing Green Bay to just 67 yards in the NFC Championship Game.
Williams rushed 13 times for 78 yards and caught all four of his targets for 16 yards in Sunday's 22-17 win over the Browns in the AFC divisional round. Williams worked as the lead back with Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) inactive, as Le'Veon Bell had just two carries and two targets. The third-year pro out of LSU made a pair of pivotal second-half plays, taking a toss 12 yards on 4th-and-1 to set up a third-quarter field goal and later gaining five yards on a 3rd-and-4 swing pass to help the Chiefs run out the clock in the fourth. Even if Edwards-Helaire returns for next week's AFC Championship Game against the Bills, Williams has likely earned himself a substantial role in Kansas City's backfield for that contest.
Williams finished the 2020 regular season with 39 carries for 169 yards and a touchdown while hauling in 18 of his 26 targets for another 116 yards. Williams saw a major bump in his action from 2018 to 2019, but that upward trend flattened out in his third professional campaign. Williams did manage to haul in a career-best 18 passes and averaged a career-high 4.3 yards per carry this season, so there's a good chance he will be on an NFL roster somewhere come 2021. Williams is a restricted free agent heading into the offseason, so the Chiefs would have to match other teams' offers to retain his services.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/26||Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
|6||10/17||@Washington Football Team||3||14.24|
|8||11/01||New York Giants||16||17.50|
|9||11/07||Green Bay Packers||27||20.33|
|10||11/14||@Las Vegas Raiders||29||22.38|
|14||12/12||Las Vegas Raiders||29||22.38|
|15||12/16||@Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||31||118||1||12||103||1||33|